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Nana’s Golden Chiffon Cake and a Lesson in Grief

Sweet and delicate golden chiffon cake with a hint of lemon. The combination of the chiffon cake, the 7-minute frosting and the toasted coconut is delicious.
Categories Dessert, Sweets
Difficulty Easy
Keyword chiffon cake, chiffon cake recipe, coconut chiffon cake
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 495 kcal
Author Lacey Baier of A Sweet Pea Chef


For the cake:

  • 2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup egg whites 8
  • 2 cups coconut flakes

For the frosting:

  • 2 unbeaten egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • dash of salt
  • 4-5 drops yellow food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Place coconut flakes evenly over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in the oven for approximately 15-20 minutes. Every 5-7 minutes, check on the coconut and toss. Careful not to burn the flakes. Once evenly golden, remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together first 4 ingredients into bowl; make well in center. Add in order next 5 ingredients. Beat until satin smooth.
  4. Add cream of tartar to egg whites; beat till very stiff peaks form. Pour batter in thin stream over entire surface of egg whites; fold in gently. Bake in 2 un-greased spring-form cake pans at 325 degrees until a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, approximately 40-55 minutes. Cool on rack. Frost with Seven-Minute Frosting (recipe follows). Sprinkle sides and top with toasted coconut flakes.
  5. Place all ingredients except vanilla in top of double boiler. Beat for 1/2 minute on low with electric mixer to blend. Place over, not touching, boiling water. Cook, beating constantly, until frosting forms soft peaks, (about 7 minutes, careful not to overcook). Remove from boiling water. If desired, pour into mixing bowl. Add vanilla and beat till of spreading consistency, about 2 minutes.
  6. Frost sides, layer and top of cake. Sprinkle generously with toasted coconut flakes to completely cover cake.
Nutrition Facts
Nana’s Golden Chiffon Cake and a Lesson in Grief
Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
Calories 495 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 9.3g47%
Cholesterol 60.9mg20%
Sodium 313.7mg13%
Carbohydrates 74.2g25%
Fiber 2.8g11%
Sugar 51g57%
Protein 6.7g13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.